Romeo and Juliet FOIL Characters Essay

1586 Words Nov 16th, 2013 7 Pages
A foil character contrasts the personalities of another character, which particularly enlightens certain characteristics of the individual. This element portrays these characteristics in an obvious manner, as it benefits the reader or audience. By showing the characteristics of one, it directly heightens the character traits of the other, creating a foil illustration of an individual. Nowhere is this element of literature more prudent than in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as he effectively engages the use of foil characters. In the play, two lovers from opposing, and hateful families fall in love, but the hatred between households lead to their downfall. Characters in the immoral city of Verona are set to represent key themes and …show more content…
First, Tybalt’s killing of Mercutio causes Romeo to retaliate his friend’s death. For example, Romeo avenges Mercutio by killing Tybalt. This is illustrated when Romeo says, “That late thou gavest me for Mercutio’s soul is but a little way above our heads, staying for thine to keep him company. Either thou or I, or both must go with him,” (3.1, 88-91). This quote illustrates that Romeo has turned violent, and is willing to slay his best friends murderer, an action that would be surprising based on prior scenes of the play. This mindset by Romeo also provokes him into killing Verona’s most notorious fighters, Tybalt, the Prince of Cats, an action which would mark a significant change in Romeo’s persona. Next, Tybalt’s loyalty towards the Capulet family heightens Romeo’s perfidy to the Montagues. For example, at the Capulet ball, Tybalt urges to kill Romeo in the name of the Capulets because he is a Montague. This is revealed when Tybalt explains to Lord Capulet that “by [Romeo’s] voice, [he is] a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy. What dares the slave come hither…[Romeo] [is] [a] foe [and] a villain, that is hither come in spite,” (1.5, 55-57, 63-64). This quote reveals that Tybalt has pure hatred towards the Montagues as he considers Romeo an adversary only because he is a Montague. Also, he calls Romeo a slave, showing absolute disrespect towards him. Tybalt’s outright disgust towards the Montagues

Related Documents